This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, July 29

Who needs egotistical movie critics when you have the Internet Movie Database where anyone can be a critic? We doubt you could find a comment like this anywhere else: "This movie left me feeling uncleansed and unshaved. I immediately took a shower. If you want to see this movie, drink beer first." So maybe a critic's diction is better, but this little quip is what really got us excited about Shock Cinema's screening of the 1980 Italian zombie flick Burial Ground, directed by Andrea Bianchi and written by Piero Regnoli. We've loved gross-out zombie movies since the first time we saw Peter "Lord of the Rings" Jackson's Dead Alive, and Shock Cinema peeps Dan Karkoska and David Hockin promise that Burial Ground will be "peppered liberally with sex, nudity and bad dubbing" and "chock-full of gory zombie killings." With a medical gore pre-movie production called Zombie Baby Massacre, seriously, could there be a better plan for Thursday night? Be at Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane at Mockingbird Station, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $8, and no one under 17 will be admitted thanks to the "extreme and gory nature of this film." Call 214-252-9967.

Friday, July 30

At least twice a day every single day, we curse the people who brought the idea of the High Five interchange into fruition. As we sit there for what seems to be an eternity during our morning drive into Dallas or evening trek home, we look up at the green, red, yellow and cement-colored stars and try to figure out what we did that was so bad we're punished with a commute that went from a quick 20 minutes to about an hour...one way. Sure, it's not always that long of a wait, but it never fails to be at its worst when we have to pee, have a migraine or the ozone is at red levels. Photographer Leslie Burns obviously feels more positive about the monolithic junction as she has shot more than 5,000 photos of the development. "This was the ultimate challenge: creating beauty from a subject matter that is not necessarily viewed by most of the world as such," Burns says. So maybe if we hit Burns' opening for Cement Rising: A Photographic Journey Through the Dallas High Five Interchange from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Magnolia Bar (inside the movie theater at 3699 McKinney Ave.) on Friday, we'll see so much beauty in her color photographs that we won't even realize how long it takes us to get home after. Yeah, right. Call 214-520-0025.

Saturday, July 31

Who doesn't love interactive dinner theater? Actually, it would probably be easier to count how many people do enjoy singing and dancing and zany acting with their buffet meal than those who don't. But we like to try new things, conquer our fears and open our minds, and we figure Joey & Maria's Comedy Italian Wedding might help us accomplish all three. First, we've never been to an interactive dinner theater performance. Second, we're terrified of ill-fitting shiny suits on men with dyed-black hair (including that on the chest). Third, it may actually be fun, and therefore we can teach our cynical selves a lesson on prejudging performances that we suspect are the "adult contemporary" of theater. With three weddings already on our schedule for the next couple of months, the food at this "longest-running interactive show in the nation" had better be fantastic, or Joey and Maria will be forced into cake-serving and punch-ladling duty at all of our upcoming events. The vows will be exchanged Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Dave and Buster's, 10727 Composite Drive. Call 1-800-944-5639 for reservations.

Sunday, August 1

Since 1999, Buckner Orphan Care International has provided 1 million pairs of shoes for orphans the world over. Now is the opportunity for the average shopper to help kids 0 to 18 shod their feet in stylin' kicks. Beginning Sunday, Valley View Center is hosting the Shoes for Orphan Souls Shoe Drive. Donate a pair of new shoes or socks (families can even stick in a note or photo for the child who receives the shoes) during mall hours and BOCI will distribute them to children in need. The drive continues through August 31, but don't procrastinate. Kick out the shoes for the kiddies at the drive's kick-off on Sunday. See www.shopvalleyviewcenter.com or call 972-661-2939.

Monday, August 2

We never thought we'd fall in love with it. But then that thing that once seemed so irritating captured our minds and hearts. Every week we'd overhear something like "So I was up $200, and then the hack took me with pocket ducks. I had $5 left and had no choice but to go all-in." Back then, we had no idea what was going on. Then last season's Celebrity Poker Showdown pitted David Cross in a game with Scott Stapp, and, knowing just how much shit Cross was likely to talk about Stapp's band Creed, we had to watch. Before we knew it, Texas hold 'em had us hooked. Certainly, there won't be as much excitement as there was watching Cross defeat Peter Faccinelli in his season-two game last Thursday, but we're betting that Trinity Hall's Monday Poker Night is still a chip-load of fun (hey, we definitely don't have beer on tap at our house). Plus, there's none of that money-losing to deal with. And if you have $200 to toss out there, please don't tell us. Trinity Hall is at 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane in Mockingbird Station. Practice cards and instruction start at 6 p.m., and tournament play begins at 7:30 p.m. Check out www.trinityhall.tv.

Tuesday, August 3

Any self-respecting David Bowie fan would recognize the name Rex Ray. The San Francisco collage artist has designed several album covers for the Thin White Duke, including the most recent album, Reality. Whether you like Bowie's latest efforts or not, the wide-eyed Bowie caricature is an awesome marriage of anime and comic cool. Likewise, Ray's collages (often made from fashion mags, paper and glue) are worthy of staring at--even if just to figure out if the image is an amoeba or some sort of abstract botanical. Ray and five other artists (Susan Marie Freda, sculpture; Henry Jackson, painting; Rocky Schenck, gelatin prints; Tara Thacker, ceramics and Chongbin Zheng, painting) are featured in the Conduit Gallery's West Coasting: Six California Artists. The show runs through August 21, and the gallery is located at 1626-C Hi Line Drive. Just remember, no self-respecting Bowie fan would wear a Ray-designed concert shirt to the exhibit. Call 214-939-0064.

Wednesday, August 4

Seafood is scary. It seems like, without lessons, the entire genre of cuisine is intimidating. How long to cook, what temperature, what about the bones? And after those basics, there's still the question of seasoning. Never mind picking out appropriate side dishes. Does dill go with white fish or just salmon? Do potatoes overwhelm a delicate fish flavor? What kind of fish is best for making sushi at home? The seafood department of Whole Foods Market, 2201 Preston Road at Park Lane in Plano, doesn't want our food choices limited because of fishy fear or ignorance, so at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the store presents Seafood 101. The free class includes recipes, sampling and a tour. Call 972-612-6729. Jaws may have been scary, but when it comes to cooking, we can't be content to fear the fin.

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